Invisible Rats - Reality in Fantasy

Delivery Method: 

This is a video of a group of three children in a 4-year-old classroom. The teacher discovers two boys hiding under a futon and begins filming. Soon a girl joins the group and asks the boys what they are doing. They declare that they are “Invisible Rats” and thus begins a conversation about being invisible. The children relocate to a new area in the classroom. As if they realize they are in full view, they pretend to dig deep holes that are dark and prevent them from being seen. The teacher joins the children’s play by stating that she hears something, but can’t see anything. In your opinion, what was the teacher’s goal for entering the children’s play? How does her strategy alter the play? The boy on the right changes them to prairie dogs perhaps in keeping with the fact that they are underground. Of course, the teacher has to guess what they are because she cannot see them.

Throughout the interaction, the girl asks if the teacher can see them and explains why they are hard to see. The girl eventually explains how the teacher can see them, by coming into the hole, the giant hole. Perhaps the girl would feel safer if she knew the teacher could see her. Can you think of other reasons the girl wanted to offer the teacher a way to see them? And when the girl comes out of her hole the teacher takes this opportunity to contrast hidden versus invisible. Even when the children use fantasy, they reveal their assumptions about how the real world works, such as their theories about whether an invisible object would cast a shadow. No doubt the teacher understood the high level thinking going on as she engaged their minds with her questions.